The Percy Picton Memorial Fund is a registered charity (no. 518787), initiated by the WCHS as a tribute to the work of their late President. The charity provides financial support to local students pursuing a career in horticultural.

Each Autumn the Percy Picton Memorial Lecture is given by a notable personality in the gardening world. 

A special ticket must be purchased for the Percy Picton Memorial Lecture


3rd October 2022 – ‘A Beautiful Obsession’ – Jimi Blake

Jimi will take us on a breath-taking journey through the newest and most exciting plants in his collection at Hunting Brook near Dublin, and from his travels to other gardens and nurseries.


4th October 2021 – “Bucolic Bliss” – James Alexander Sinclair

James left London for the wilds of Northamptonshire 25 years ago. This was the story behind both his garden, and other country gardens he has created.

James is one of the foremost garden designers here in the UK. He is also an award winning writer, broadcaster and a compelling speaker. With much humour, James told us we need to work with nature, incorporating the countryside into our garden.

Thank you to all those who came along and supported the event. The hall was nicely full allowing for space between chairs. 


Percy Picton came to Colwall in the late 1940’s to manage and re-generate Ernest Ballard’s nursery, following the deprivations of the war years. He had spent 15 years working at Gravetye Manor, in Sussex, for William Robinson, under the famous head gardener, Ernest Markham. Here Percy met many of the great gardeners of the day and gained a wide knowledge of plants, especially Clematis. He helped Walter Ingwersen set up Birch Farm Nursery, on the Gravetye estate and this great plantsman inspired the young Picton into a lifelong love of alpines. The examples set by Robinson and Ingwersen made Percy aware of the importance of passing on the knowledge of plants and how to grow them.

Eventually, Percy Picton became the owner of Old Court Nurseries. He also became a TV personality with Percy Thrower and “Gardening Club” and later in “The Garden Game”, which was chaired by Norman Painting ( best remembered as Phil Archer). In the 1970’s Beth Chatto met Percy in Wales and her description of him fits his personality to perfection. “Sitting in a chair beside me, hands clasped over a comfortable rounded tummy, this man began to talk with the gentlest encouragement and then went on to entrance the audience with his knowledge and passion for plants – this man was Percy Picton”.

Percy always encouraged young people to further their interest in plants. He inspired John Massey of Ashwood Nurseries and John Richards of Mathon, both of whom are now well known and respected in the horticultural world.

When Percy Picton died his friends wished to create a fitting memorial and the Wyche and Colwall Horticultural Society founded The Percy Picton Memorial Fund in 1987, to provide grants to students of horticulture. Over the years many students have received aid with expenses connected with their courses, such as books and tools. With the widespread use of the internet theoretical knowledge is widely available via the computer. The trustees of the fund ascertained that a number of students needed help to gain “hands on experience” and have been able to co-operate with Ashwood Nurseries, Great Dixter Gardens, John Richards Nurseries and Chris Pattison with short term working/learning placements.

Each year, at Pershore College, the student who presents the best dissertation receives an award of £50 from the Percy Picton Memorial Fund.

The trustees would like to express their most sincere gratitude to the members of The Wyche and Colwall Horticultural Society for their continued, generous support of the charity through the annual lecture and various other events.

Special thanks must go to two WCHS members, Kay Smith and Heather Hughes who have raised thousands of pounds over the last few years for the PPMF through the plant stalls at our monthly meetings and at other events. Over lockdown restrictions, this proved a great challenge but Kay and Heather managed to sell plants at various events and in other creative ways.

Much more can be read about Percy Picton on the following website: https://paulpictonswebpatch.blog